World governing body FIFA yesterday gave the hosting rights of the annually-staged Club World Cup to Qatar for the next two years.
Hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar will now look forward to hosting UEFA champions Liverpool and six other continental champions for the two-week football festival later this year in December.
According to details posted on FIFA’s website yesterday, Qatar will also host the 2020 edition of the hugely popular tournament held for the first time in 2000.
The decision was finalised after the members of the FIFA Council convened in Paris yesterday.
“It is a great test event,” Qatar World Cup organizing committee chairman Hassan Al-Thawadi said. “So we will definitely try to utilize as much as possible, all the different facets of hosting a World Cup.”
“Following the approval of a revamped Club World Cup with 24 teams… the FIFA council decided to award Qatar the right to host the next two editions of the tournament in its existing format in 2019 and 2020,” FIFA said in a statement yesterday.
“The upcoming editions of the seven-team competition will serve as valuable test events in the build-up to the FIFA World Cup 2022, even more so since their timing – usually around early December – corresponds with that of the next FIFA World Cup, allowing for testing under similar climatic conditions,” the post on www.fifa.com said.
In March this year, the FIFA Council approved the establishment of a new landmark club competition: A revamped, 24-team FIFA Club World Cup, the pilot edition of which will be held in June and July 2021. The decision was taken during the ninth meeting of FIFA’s strategic and decision-making body, in Miami.
There were 25 votes in favour of and seven against the proposal, FIFA said two months ago.
“The revamped FIFA Club World Cup will be played during the international match calendar slot that corresponded to the FIFA Confederations Cup. In the 2021 pilot edition, the 24 teams will be split into eight groups of three teams each, with the group winners to qualify for the quarter-finals in a knockout format,” FIFA noted on its website.
“Further details, such as the proposed match schedule and the slot allocation for representatives of each confederation − will be discussed further and decided at a later stage,” it added in March.
FIFA said: “In regard to the pilot edition of the expanded FIFA Club World Cup in 2021, the FIFA administration will analyse and proactively approach potential hosts before making a recommendation at the next FIFA Council meeting, in Shanghai, China PR, on 23 and 24 October.”
With Qatar confirmed hosts of this year’s edition of the Club World Cup, the football-loving country can now prepare to receive thousands of Liverpool fans for the tournament. Fans of other continental champions are also expected to reach in thousands for the two-week tournament for which the dates and venues will be announced by the Local Organizing Committee after the summer break.
Last month, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) unveiled the brand new Al Janoub Stadium, it’s second 2022 World Cup venue when the Amir Cup final played between Al Duhail and Al Sadd.
Two years ago, Qatar inaugurated the iconic Khalifa International Stadium five years ahead of schedule. Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor is almost ready for inauguration. These stadiums are expected to be used for matches in this year’s Club World Cup.
Past champions of the tournament include Real Madrid, Barcelona, Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Internacional, Milan, Manchester United, Internazionale and Bayern Munich. Qatar’s Al Sadd – who won the AFC Champions League title in 2011 – featured in the Club World Cup held in Japan that year.
Brazil, Japan, Spain, the UAE and Morocco have hosted the event previously. When Real Madrid beat Al Ain of the UAE in last year’s final, it was their third title on the trot for the Spanish giants and fourth overall, the most number by any club in the world.